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Character Judgment

July 01, 2001

I am intrigued by the double standard that seems to be at play in the public dialogue about professor Joseph J. Ellis (June 22). Do we expect so little honesty from our political leaders that we routinely laud President Reagan despite his lying to us about the actions of his administration (e.g., Iran-Contra)? Do we expect so little forthrightness that we accept President Bush's refusal to answer questions about his young adult life? Where do we draw the line on the importance of honesty and forthrightness?

As a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (class of '79) I am saddened by Ellis' lies, but I will always be grateful for the enthusiasm and passion he brought to the campus. He made a positive contribution to the lives of many students. I hope that others with much greater influence than Ellis take note of this important public dialogue.

Sara Thaves

Manhattan Beach

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